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How to Deal With First Year Failure

Thousands of first year students receiving their end of year results are having to face up to the fact that their dreams for the future are not materialising quite as they expected when they walked through the doors of higher learning at the start of the year.


And while many of these students may consider throwing in the towel, that would be a mistake, an education expert says.

“First-year dropout rates are sky-high in South Africa,” says Peter Kriel, General Manager at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest private higher education provider, “but students who don’t successfully make the transition from school to university on their first attempt shouldn’t be discouraged. Instead, they should re-assess their situation and continue on their higher learning path with a new strategy.”

While statistics vary, it is estimated that more than 40% of students quit their studies after their first year. Some put the figure as high as 60%.

“If you failed or performed badly in your first year, you should not view this as an eternal pronouncement on your ability (or lack thereof) to make a success of your studies and ultimately earn a degree,” says Kriel.

“There are many, many young people who don’t achieve optimally right from the start, and by asking yourself a few questions about your direction and looking clearly at your options, you can still go forth confidently and make a success of higher learning,” he says.


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